Physical-Layer Security: Wide-band Communications & Role of Known Interference



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Data security is of such paramount importance that security measures have been implemented across all layers of a communication network. One layer at which security has not been fully developed and studied is the physical layer, the lowest layer of the protocol stack. Towards establishing fundamental limits of secure communications at the physical layer, we address in this dissertation two main problems. First, we study secure communication in the wide-band regime, and second we study the role of known interference in secure communication.

The concept of channel capacity per unit cost was introduced by Verdu? in 1990 to study the limits of cost-efficient wide-band communication. It was shown that orthogonal signaling can achieve the channel capacity per unit cost of memoryless stationary channels with a zero-cost input letter. The first part of this dissertation introduces the concept of secrecy capacity per unit cost to study cost-efficient wide- band secrecy communication. For degraded memoryless stationary wiretap channels, it is shown that an orthogonal coding scheme with randomized pulse position and constant pulse shape achieves the secrecy capacity per unit cost with a zero-cost input letter. For general memoryless stationary wiretap channels, the performance of orthogonal codes is studied, and the benefit of further randomizing the pulse shape is demonstrated via a simple example. Furthermore, the problem of secure communication in a MIMO setting is considered, and a single-letter expression for the secrecy capacity per unit cost is obtained for the MIMO wiretap channel.

Recently there has been a lot of success in using the deterministic approach to provide approximate characterization of Gaussian network capacity. The second part of this dissertation takes a deterministic view and revisits the problem of wiretap channel with side information. A precise characterization of the secrecy capacity is obtained for a linear deterministic model, which naturally suggests a coding scheme which we show to achieve the secrecy capacity of the degraded Gaussian model (dubbed as ?secret writing on dirty paper?) to within half a bit. The success of this approach allowed its application to the problem of ?secret key agreement via dirty paper coding?, where also a suggested coding scheme achieves the secret-key capacity to within half a bit.